The Boßecker Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 2 Spring 1997


The Church in Veilsdorf, Germany
The 2 plaques above the door
of the Veilsdorf, Germany Church

A Visit to Veilsdorf, Germany

From 1992 to 1996 I was flying international routes for Delta Air Lines as a co-pilot on the Lockheed L-1011 aircraft. In July of 1993 I was assigned a 7-day trip. After getting the trip information from pilot scheduling, I sat down to study it for a while.

The trip would begin by flying from Atlanta to New York. I would spend the night in New York and then fly to Rome, Italy the next day. I would spend 24 hours on the ground in Rome and then fly back to New York on day 4. On day 5 we would fly all night from New York to Frankfurt, Germany arriving just before 8:00 am. On day 7 we would leave Frankfurt at 12:45 PM and fly back to the United States.

As I looked over this itinerary, I realized that this trip might offer the chance to visit the Boßecker ancestral village of Veilsdorf, Germany.

I reached for a map of Germany to see if a Veilsdorf visit was feasible. After some study I realized it was possible but it wasn't going to be pretty. Although Veilsdorf was only about 120 miles away from Frankfurt, there was no direct route to the town. It looked like the drive from Frankfurt to Veilsdorf was going to be in excess of 6 hours round trip. Not that big of a deal if one is well rested but I was going to do it after having flown all night and my body clock was already going to be confused by the New York - Rome - New York flying that had been completed in the first half of the trip.

Despite the knowledge that driving for that amount of time in a fatigued condition was going to be unpleasant, I called Hertz Rental Car and made arrangements to rent a car while in Germany. My rationale was that I might never get another chance to see Veilsdorf.

During the flight from New York to Frankfurt, Germany, I mentioned to the Captain and the Flight Engineer that I had arranged for a car and I was going to do some touring. I told them that they were welcome to come with me but that my destination was a small town with limited tourist appeal and it was going to be a fairly long trip to get there and back. They both thought it sounded like fun and said they would like to come along.

Shortly our arrival at our hotel, I walked to Hertz and picked up the car, a Ford Escort. I returned to the hotel, picked up the rest of the crew, and we started our journey.

After a few minutes on the autobahn it soon became clear that our little Escort was too underpowered and too overgrossed to compete with the BMW's, the Porsche's and the big Benz's that rule the left lane with its unlimited speed limit. The autobahn's right lane is where all slower vehicles are forced to drive and that includes the VERY slow vehicles such as farm vehicles and large trucks.

The Escort would reach cruising speed only after an extended period of very gradual acceleration. But once we did reach our desired speed, we would often find ourselves catching some slower traffic located in the right lane. The passing maneuver that followed was often an exciting bit of driving. The trick was to try to observe, with one eye, the speed demons in the left lane via the rear view mirror; all the while monitoring the closure rate with the vehicle to be passed with the other eye.

Photograph of the interior of the Veilsdorf Church looking towards the front door.
This photograph taken by Jerry & Jackie Bosacker in 1991.

When a gap large enough to accommodate our vehicle was found, the task became timing the entry into this gap in such a way so as to loose as little kinetic energy as possible while avoiding a collision with the vehicle to be passed.

If you ever rent a car in Germany and you value your mental health, rent a vehicle with plenty of horsepower. The situation that I have tried to describe above is fairly exciting (even for 3 steely-eyed pilots) in a vehicle of limited speed and power.

The drive to Veilsdorf took about 5 hours. This includes a stop for something to eat and a delay of unknown duration after we missed a turn due to road construction.

We discovered our blunder after proceeding for about 10 miles past our intended turn point. A quick study of the map seemed to indicate that we could take a short cut on back roads and then get back on the autobahn.

Big mistake! This "short cut" added a tremendous amount of time to our journey. The scenery was picturesque but we were unable to proceed with any speed.

After about 4 ½ hours we reached Coburg, Germany and shortly after that passed the old East German/West German border. Veilsdorf is located very close to the old border. I could not tell exactly when we crossed over as most of the remnants of the border are gone. We did see, occasionally, what appeared to be old guard towers.

As we approached Veilsdorf, we could see the church and I immediately recognized it from photographs taken by Jerry and Jackie Bosacker of Treasure Island, FL. Jerry and Jackie had visited Veilsdorf in 1991 and were kind enough to send me photographs of their visit. The church was located on a high point in the town and, with its steeple, was visible from some distance.

We drove up to the church and walked around the building, which appeared to be very old. The walls were massively thick and windows were few. We could not get in as the doors were locked.

I don't know for sure but it didn't seem unreasonable to assume, based upon the appearance of the structure, that it had been built prior to the Boßecker's departure from Veilsdorf. It seemed likely that the baptisms and marriages of Karl & Johannes Boßecker had taken place in this very building. I took a few snap shots and then we drove back to our hotel.

The Plaques above the Door

One of the photographs on the front page of this issue is a close-up of the two plaques located above the door of the church.

The upper plaque contains the initials VDMIÆ, then 2 crests and then the number 1604. The initials stand for the Latin, Verbum Dei Manet In Aeternum; which means, "The Word of God remains for eternity". I can only assume that the number 1602 is a year, perhaps this congregation was founded in 1602.

The lower plaque appears to have the following inscription in Latin:




So far I have been unable to translate the inscription completely. If anyone has knowledge of Latin, I welcome their help.

(1) It appears to me that the letter "V" is used both for "V" and for "U".
(2) When the inscriber ran out of room at the end of a line, he simply broke the word at the point he ran out of space. An example is the first line where PSALMO (Psalms) is broken into two pieces.
(3) The words run together; the above is my attempt to break the lines into individual words but it may not be correct.
(4) The S.S. in line 4 probably refers to the Latin Sancta Scripta or Holy Scripture.

More Boßecker Veterans

Here are some veterans that I missed in the last issue. This group of veterans includes the only known female Boßecker-descendant veteran.

Gerald "Bud" Kohorst
[Born: 1923], United States Army Air Corps, WWII.
GG-Grandson-in-law of Johannes Boßecker.

Steven C. Boseker
[Born: 1957], United States Army (1974-1982)
GGGG-Grandson of Peter Boßecker.

Edwin Bosecker
[Born: 1926], LTJG, United States Navy, WWII
Commanding Officer of LST1018.
G-Grandson of Johannes Boßecker.

Walter Kleinschmidt
[Born: 1918], Lieutenant, United States Navy, WWII.
G-Grandson of Johannes Boßecker.

Delbert J. Strauss
[1895-1943], United States Marine Corps, WWI.
G-Grandson of Karl Boßecker.

Jim R. Bosecker
[Born:1957], Machinist Mate 2nd Class, United States Navy. (1975-1980)
GG-Grandson of Karl Boßecker.

Albert F. Bosecker
[1916-1964], United States Army, WWII.
G-Grandson of Karl Boßecker.

Dana J. (Boseker) Cunningham
[Born: 1960], Nurse, United States Navy (1988-1991).
GGGG-granddaughter of Peter Boßecker.

George M. Graesch
[Born:1923], United States Marine Corps, WWII.
G-Grandson of Johannes Boßecker.

Daniel Hering
[Born:1946],SP4, United States Army, (1966-1968)
GGG-Grandson of Johannes Boßecker.

On the Internet: THE BOßECKER WEB SITE

In early March The Boßecker Web Site received a major upgrade. The site now has on-line versions of all issues of The Boßecker Newsletter, the Boßecker descendants data base, some mystery photographs, some identified photographs, some documents and links to other sites. The site can be found at:

Mapquest The maps on this web site
are courtesy of Mapquest.

This page was posted on 14 Mar 1997.

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